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wonderful world

Tao teh Ching
Chapter 47

One can open oneself to the world without leaving the house,
Without looking out the window one can know the way of Heaven.
The further one goes and the more knowledge one accumulates, the less one knows.
With this way; one can know and experience without traveling,
Observe clearly without seeing,
And accomplish much without doing anything


   What a wonderful world we have… what a huge diversity of plant and animal life….. wonders abound.. it is all too astounding and amazing to fully grasp…. wondrous.

  With such a wonderful world to explore… it is a wonder that I so seldom leave this little sheltered canyon and venture out….

Luckily, with the advent of the Internet, it is so much easier to find out about far-flung regions and peoples without ever leaving home.

There’s no place like home…..

   Loreena McKennitt is a strong vocalist who also composes beautiful pieces of music with a heavy Celtic/Mideastern flavor. One of her songs, ‘Santiago’ has been put into a music video format by a fan who inserted moving images of peoples from around the world engaged in one of those most interesting human pursuits… dance.   It is an emotional journey into the abundance of human ‘types’ we have…. truly, one of the most interesting and moving videos I have ever seen.

Road Crew Ahead

We live far down a dirt road….
We’re pretty remote….
I understand that other folks with higher population densities would get the highest level of service….
That makes economic and social sense

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few

   Nonetheless…. our road occasinally gets to a really bad condition, such that people get their tires flattened and rims broken, and shocks breaking through the vehicle due to the huge potholes they hit…. at speed (not good to drive fast down a twisty dirt road with occasional washouts).

   There are some local folk looking to sue the county for the poor condition of the road….
   In principal I disagree with this thinking. The ones who ruin their vehicles year after year are always the same people… everyone else just gets unusually high wear and tear…. and there are going to be occasional accidents due to people trying to evade potholes at the exact second someone comes around a bend…. yet we can’t expect the county to get back into this remote area after every rainstorm… they’ve got an entire county full of dirt roads to maintain, and they have people along each of those roads with the same story.

   In return for me not messing with the county… I’d like to have a reciprocal agreement that the county, state, Feds, and all other governmental agencies would leave me alone.  But I know that won’t happen. Every one of those agencies seems to want to stick their fingers into the pie… while they stir it up and knock your own hands away such that you can’t even cook.

A joke:
What does a libertarian eat for a salad dish?
Answ: Lettuce alone

     There are many people who like the security of a ‘Nanny State’, taking care of our every need… ensuring employment and medical services etc.
   Such a state would also have the right to decide when, how and where you live your life….

U.S.A. Saying:
When you’re living under my roof… you’re gonna follow my rules

  If we wish the government to ensure medical coverage… then we should also expect that the same agencies would want to reduce overeating and alcohol/cigarette/drug abuse.  This would greatly reduce the amount of health costs for the nation.  Salts, fats and sugars should also be reduced in the diet…. In fact.. to ensure the best health/life care… we should have all people living in large apartment complexes, with a communal dining area. We’d not have to buy food either!  And all we’d have to do is sign over our lives to the state.

   Here’s some photos of the grader maintaining our dirt road.
   The fellows on the crew do a good job… they give a proper crown so the water rolls off to the sides… the ditches along the edges are maintained and lead to culverts underneath the road, carrying the excess water to the creek….
   I think the county could save some money by permitting some of the locals to help maintain the road between the big grading jobs they do… we could all show up on occasion to scrape the road with our tractors to smooth it out and fill the potholes… but that’d bother the union the county workers belong to…. and there’d probably be someone who’d plow into a car, or have their blade tilted too much and ruin the crown… road-maintenance by committee is probably not too efficient either. And besides…  the county road is a mile from our house…. and it takes forever to drive a tractor a mile. So I’m happy enough having the county do the maintenance… thank you very much.

  Life can be a bit complex sometimes… even with something as simple as a dirt road. 
The complexities come from the people.





On Marriage

   Nature has given each species certain hormonal urges to ensure procreation. Mankind has these same urges…
   Often nature ensures that animals are ‘hard-wired’ to see the differences in others of the same species as likely indications of a suitable mating partner.   This is a method that ensures the mating units are not too closely related… this widening of the gene pool leads to what we call ‘Hybrid vigor’.  It is this ‘Opposites Attract’ feature that gives us widely dissimilar people who find some common interest in one another.

Ladies Love Country Boys
Trace Adkins

She grew up in the city in a little subdivision,
Her daddy wore a tie, Momma never fried a chicken,
Ballet, Straight A’s, Most likely to succeed

They bought her a car after graduation
Sent her down south for some higher education
Put her on the fast track to a law degree

Now she’s comin home to visit
holdin the hand
Of a wild-eyed boy
with a farmer’s tan

And shes ridin in the middle of his pickup truck
Blarin Charlie Daniels yellin, “Turn it up!”
They raised her up a lady
but there’s one thing they couldn’t avoid
Ladies love country boys

   This song is something like Vickie and me… she grew up in Orange County… she really never knew anyone with a garden until she journeyed to the country to visit her brother who was working on a local landscape crew due to his knowledge of Spanish. She saw a whole new life in the bush after she met me….

   But it sure was a different life than the city… we lived for a time in a tow-behind 27 foot travel-trailer. We grew much of our own food, and had no Television. As the song said… it was as primitive as could be. And it was fun, and new for us both.

   While the initial onrush of ‘Romantic Love’ is heady and easy to flow along with…. it is the long-term committed relationship that requires constant work, and forgiveness and love… and may require a bit of that in varying degrees each and every day….  To forgive and to accept and to deal with shortcomings and problems is the only way to continue.

   Just as Reba says….


~Reba MyIntyre~
‘I Keep On Loving You’

“Love takes the patience of Job”
That’s what my Mama always said
‘Faith is the belief in something more than what you know’
That’s what the Good Book says
You gotta play the cards you got
Who knows what fate is holding
At times you gotta go without knowing where you’re goin’

That’s why I keep on lovin’ you
I keep on lovin’ you
Through the ‘baby don’t leave mes’
And ‘never will agains’
And ‘I promise tos’
I keep on lovin’ you

Lord knows we’ve had our share of fights
Our sleepless nights, our ups and downs
We’ve had plenty and then some of ‘baby I’m gones’ and turnarounds
Sometimes I swear it might be easier to throw in the towel
Someday we’re gonna look back
And say “look at us now”

That’s why I keep on lovin’ you
I keep on lovin’ you
Through the baby don’t leave mes
And never will agains
And I promise tos
I keep on lovin’ you

   I’ve heard it said that “Men marry women hoping they’ll never change… Women marry men hoping they can change them”.

   Best is to pick someone you can put up with, and remain committed to… and hopefully you will have picked a person that can put up with you… and will remain committed to you also.

   I suppose it’s something of a crapshoot… and I never was a gambling man….

   An uncle of mine told me to “stay single, and raise your kids to do the same”… somehow in the sixties that was a really funny line.. cause no one had kids without being married (it seemed).  But he had five or six wives in his time….. he was speaking from experience.

Kahlil Gibran
‘On Marriage’

Then Almitra spoke again and said…
“And what of Marriage, master?”
And he answered saying:

You were born together,
and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when the white wings
of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress
grow not in each other’s shadow.

   Give yourselves some room…. for most folks being together 24-7 is too tough.  Get out and blaze some paths, encounter some new people… have some adventures…. but always be good.. so that you can come home and be happy to be there.. and have no regrets.  Life with regrets is burdensome and heavy.

But get away from one-another on occasion… just remember:
‘There ain’t no place like home’ 


‘Drops of Jupiter’

Now that she’s back from that soul vacation
Tracing her way through the constellation
She checks out Mozart while she does Tae-Bo
Reminds me that there’s room to grow

But tell me
Did the wind sweep you off your feet?
Did you finally get the chance to
Dance along the light of day
And head back to the Milky Way

Tell me
Did Venus blow your mind
Was it everything you wanted to find?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

Can you imagine no
Love, pride, deep-fried chicken
Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you’re wrong
Can you imagine no
First dance, freeze-dried romance
Five hour phone conversation
The best soy latte that you ever had and me

Tell me
Did you sail across the sun
Did you make it to the Milky Way
To see the lights are faded
And that heaven is overrated

Tell me
Did you fall for a shooting star
One without a permanent scar
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself

And did you finally get the chance
to dance along the light of day?

Vickie and I are quite different, and yet strangely so alike in so many ways…
and after half a lifetime together we still get along and love one another….
although sometimes we grate on one another….
at those times we agree not to speak of the ‘issues or problems’….
luckily we have a lot of space….

and in a short time… there is no trouble.
Because in time most troubles fade away….
and in the end nothing else really matters but love.
And after we leave, that’s all we can take with us.

God is Love

La Familia es Todo!

Family is everything….

   Take care of your family… you are entrusted with your role in your family. You must uphold your share of the workload and care. Give honor to your parents if you are a child… listen to them and help them to maintain the family properly… your help as a child will go far toward making your parents’ lives more pleasurable and fulfilling.

   If you are a parent, it is your responsibility to raise your children well… showing them the right way to live.

  There is NO responsibility in life greater than that of stewardship of your family.

  Honor and fulfill your obligations.  Don’t do wrong, nor engage in any activities that may disrupt the family harmony……

   What you do in your family will extend to the blanket of people you surround yourself with..  hopefully some of that goodwill may creep even further into your community.. and your community may extend a gracious hand to outlying areas…. in this way, your own harmony may be shown in far-flung locals and people that you don’t even know of!

   Just be good…. do good, be right and proper, and above all…. take care of your family… because ‘La Familia es Todo’.

Oceano, the highs and lows

  “It was the best of times, it was the worse of times…” so begins the famous book….

   Oceano has highs and lows also…. rampant methamphetamine use and high trucks.

   Oceano sits at the edge of a huge sandbowl… a series of dunes with an Offroad Vehicular Recreation Area, so there are numerous tall trucks with wide tires designed to navigate the deep loose sands.

   Here we see a small house of the type built in the forties and early fifties. There are a number of these small homes still occupied in the local area, and there are some boarded up and closed off such as this one.

   We wouldn’t want the owner of this home to rent substandard living quarters to people who can’t afford the local exorbitant rents… far better that they sleep in their cars on the street.


  In nature it is the margin areas that are the most productive….. land animals need food from the open areas that grow it well… but they also need cover and housing in the brushy areas that don’t grow the best browse. Margins and borders are very important in human civilization also… it is the borders that mix the attributes and characteristics of two peoples into one amalgam… in agriculture we call this ‘Hybrid Vigor’. The inculcation of new germ-plasm… new DNA makes a species and a population stronger and more resistant to disease…. the blend of cultures makes for a stronger culture that has thrown off some aspects not conducive to modern life, yet retains a sense of wonder and awe in both cultures…

   Afro-Celtic Sound System is a band that incorporates African rhythms, Celtic singing and instruments and Mid Eastern sounds into a strong mix…  haunting… ethereal…. hard to pin down.. enigmatic. I love it.

  One of their songs that I like best is Ionen…. I don’t ‘get’ the lyrics, but I like the sound.

My Sweet Annette



Happy Valentine’s Day!

I thought I’d trot out an old tune about love!



 ‘My Sweet Annette’
~Drive-By Truckers~

Me and my Annette, we was as fond as we could be
We was set to marry in October ’33
I set my sights on courtin’ her, as fine as she could be
I never ever noticed her best friend Marilee
Took a job at the saw mill and I bought my girl a ring,
Had a pre-wedding party, close friends and family
Everything was fine, eatin homemade ice cream
I swear I never noticed maid of honor, Marilee

My Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter

Marilee was taken ill, it was several miles from home
Back then it wasnt fittin’ for a girl to leave alone
Sweet Annette, she asked me to walk her to the door
As innocent as children back before the war

My Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter

Lord have mercy for what we done,
Lord have mercy when two people get along
Neither one of us had done anything like that you see
By the next sunset, I had eloped with Marilee

And my Sweet Annette was left standing at the alter.



‘The Water is Wide’ is an old Irish tune that’s several hundred years old
Yeah, few can say it like the Irish


The water is wide, I can’t cross oer
Neither have I the wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I
Oh love is gentle
and love is kind
the sweetest flower
when first it’s new

but love grows old
and waxes cold
and fades away
like morning dew

There is a ship and she sails the sea
She’s loaded deep as deep can be
But not as deep as the love I’m in
I know not how I sink or swim

I leaned my back against an oak
Thinking it was a trusty tree
But first it bent and then it broke
So did my love prove false to me

Oh love be handsome and love be kind
Bright as a jewel when first it is new
But love grows old and waxes cold
And fades away like the morning dew

I sowed the seeds of love.
I sowed them in the springtime,
Gathered them up in the morning so soon
While small birds sweetly sing.

My garden was planted well
With flowers everywhere.
I had not the liberty to choose for myself
The flower I held so dear.

Now, the willow tree may twist
And the willow tree may twine.
I wish I was lying in that young woman’s arms
That once held this heart of mine.

When cockle shells turn silver bells
Then will my love come back to me
When roses bloom in winter’s gloom
Then will my love return to me

The water is wide, I cannot get oer.
Neither have I the wings to fly
Give me a boat that can carry two
And both shall row, my love and I.



One-Way Donkey Ride


‘One Way Donkey Ride’ 
~ Mary Black~


There you may stand in your splendor and jewels
Swaying me in both directions
One is the right one, the other for fools
How do I make my selection?


The city lies silent in the warm morning light
The sand is as golden as saffron
Oasis of love, sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who have none though they have tried

Someone is drowning down there in the flood
But this river will dry by tomorrow
Is it ocean or stream, this love in my blood?
Bringer of joy or of sorrow?

The end of the journey must soon be in sight
Birth is the start of the swansong
Oasis of love, sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who want some, but are denied

No one is given the map to their dreams
All we can do is to trace it
See where we go to, know where we’ve been
Build up the courage to face it.

While we fumble in the darkness where once there was light
Roaming the land of the ancients
Oasis of love, sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones whose patience never died

While we stumble in blindness where once there was sight
Searching for trees in the forest
Oasis of love, sweet water of life
God bless the poor ones who have none though they have tried

God bless the poor ones who want some, but are denied
God bless the poor ones whose patience never died
God bless the poor ones on that one-way donkey ride



Man In Black

   One of the great old-time poet-philosophers, Johnny Cash, and one of his greatest songs… ‘Man In Black’

“I’d love to wear a rainbow everyday,
to tell the world that everything’s Okay.
But maybe I can carry-off a little darkness on my back,
till things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black”



“I hope I shall have firmness and virtue enough to maintain,
what I consider the most enviable of all titles,
that of an honest man”
~G Washington~

    Reputation can be polished through a long time of honest dealings and proper actions. But like time, reputation cannot be run-backward and re-polished… once the taint of impropriety has etched the metal of reputation, even a lifetime of polishing will not bring the shine of virgin veracity.

   Don’t trade off your hard-acquired trust for temporary gain…. the money garnered will  last only so long… but the trust people misplaced in you will never be fully regained…. “once burned twice shy” goes the old saw….

  I am not a watcher of daytime talk shows… but through the years I have followed the careers of a few people such as Oprah and Montel Williams. I know both of them have a huge amount of trust built over decades placed upon their personas by the US people. I have a great deal of respect for both of these performers who have accomplished so much and seem to provide a good service to the people by virtue of the (usually) good advice of their guests.

   But sadly, I am seeing Montel Williams pitching a money-lending service on television and the Internet….. being reactively suspicious of such services, I did some looking into the company Montel pitches…. it seems usury to me.  Looking the name of the company up along with the word ‘scam’ brought forth a large number of pages complaining of the practices of this company.

   This is not a site that deals with scams or money management… there are many who can do splendid at helping people with these matters, people such as www.ripoffreport.com ,  www.clarkhoward.com or www.suzeorman.com all of whom seem to (generally) give rational advice… my purpose in this missive is to make a statement on trust and integrity… Montel has had the trust of the nation for many years…. his ‘personal brand’ is based on honesty and decent-dealing, but he has violated the trust garnered through decades by placing his huge following and personality behind this scam of a ‘money-lending’ issue.

   There will be some who will counter that he is an actor…. he is a paid spokesman for a product, the same as Sally Fields with her Boniva ads…. now, while that statement can be made…. Boniva at least may have some beneficial results.. this usury by the company Montel pitches will only lead most followers to headaches, heartaches and more financial deprivation. The sad thing is the huge number of good-hearted people who will sign up for such a service based only on the personage of Montel. This proves his worth as a spokesman… but that worth is very much diminished for the next company that wishes to have him endorse a product. As for me, the next time I see him pitch anything… my thoughts will be less that it is a ‘quasi-public service’, as much as he is a pitchman who will hawk any product as long as the recompense is high.

   Montel, I am sorry that you got roped into this deal…. I really hope you were stoned out of your mind when you signed the papers…. that is the only way I can keep a tiny bit of trust in your integrity… but then I must have worries about your thought-process while stoned.

Johnny Cash… ‘What Is Truth?’

“And in a time of change there comes distorted images,
and uncertain values.
And we all must search,
must search for ‘What is truth?”